Why Joe Thomas is a Hall of Famer

Since 1999 the Cleveland Browns have been the laughing stock of the NFL. They have been made famous by their never-ending quarterback carousel which might have come to a halt with the drafting of Baker Mayfield. Throughout the years there have been a few constant names that were well known in both Cleveland and throughout the league.

Arguably the most constant of those names is Joe Thomas. The linebacker from the University of Wisconson was drafted as the third overall pick by the Browns in 2007. Throughout his career he was elected to 10 Pro Bowls (first 10 seasons in the league), First Team All-Pro seven times, and Second Team All-Pro two times. Perhaps his biggest achievement is that he did not miss a single play of his career until last season.

Last season Thomas tore his tricep which ended his continuous snap streak at 10,363, an NFL record. The injury ended his season and he ultimately made the decision to retire as well.

Thomas has played with 21 different quarterbacks during his career. No, that is not a typo, He actually played with 21 different quarterbacks. That is how bad the Browns quarterback merry-go-round is.

This past weekend the Browns honored Thomas at their game against the Chargers in Cleveland. The number 10,363 was enshrined into the Browns’ Ring of Honor alongside those of Jim Brown, Paul Brown, and Otto Graham.

Only Larry Allen has been elected to more Pro Bowls than Thomas while only John Hannah has been elected to more All-Conference teams. Thomas was so good during his career that the official NFL Hall of Fame website started a countdown for when he is eligible for enshrinement the day that he announced his retirement.

The man who now considers himself a Clevelander will not be eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2023. When that day comes, however, number 73 of the Browns will be enshrined in history right away.


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